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Economy
Almotamar Net - Acting on endorsements and pledges of land from the president of Yemen and the president of the African nation of Djibouti, a Dubai-based developer has tapped an American firm to build a bridge across the Red Sea.

Saturday, 05-May-2007
Google News - Acting on endorsements and pledges of land from the president of Yemen and the president of the African nation of Djibouti, a Dubai-based developer has tapped an American firm to build a bridge across the Red Sea.
Middle East Development LLC on April 25 issued a notice-to-proceed to Noor City Development Corp., Boulder, Colo. It authorizes Noor City, as sole agent, "to proceed with the planning, development, construction and management of the bridge between Yemen and Djibouti."
The newly formed Noor City Development Corp. is led by Tariq E. Ayyad, president. Ayyad is also president of ShareChive LLC, San Francisco, a technology firm with patented systems for delivering constantly refreshed project data to mobile computers on jobsites, with an emphasis on highway and large infrastructure. Ayyad is an American of Kuwaiti extraction, a civil engineer, construction manager and a former bridge engineer with the California Dept. of Transportation.
Ayyad says MED's goal is to create economic opportunity and stability on both sides of the Red Sea by tying in the bridge to new rail and road construction hubs and networks in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
"MED is a developer. They want to create jobs, they want to move products," Ayyad says. "It is very, very critical to connect the African nations and their products and crops right to the Middle East. The Middle East is extremely wealthy in money and oil, but we lack quite a lot of crops and services."
Noor City is forming an international commission to refine concepts for a design/build/operate/transfer concession to create the rail and highway crossing. Concepts developed by Danish engineering firm COWI envision a 23-mile crossing with a suspension span over the Bab al Mendab Straits.
Phase I will likely be a 4.8-mile leap to the Yemeni island of Perim. Phase II may be broken into several contracts for the 18.35-mile transit to Djibouti. Cost is estimated at between $10 billion and $20 billion, depending on design, project organization and financing. Construction would take 7 to 9 years.
"If you open up to this [transportation system that provides access into the heart of Africa] then you can create jobs by moving products, moving services," Ayyad says. "You can ignite economic development just by the transportation element. The bridge is really critical."
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